Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Police Stop Journalists From Photographing Metrorail System

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the don't-cloud-this-issue-with-facts dept.

The Media 601

schwit1 writes with this excerpt from Reason.com: "Carlos Miller, who runs the Photography Is Not a Crime blog, and veteran photojournalist Stretch Leford decided to test the photography rules in Miami-Dade's metrorail system. Before embarking on their test, they obtained written assurance from Metro Safety and Security Chief Eric Muntan that there's no law against non-commercial photography on the system. The two didn't make it past the first station before they were stopped. Employees of 50 State Security, the private firm contracted to provide the metro's security, stopped the pair first. They then called in local police. The private firm and the police then threatened the two with arrest, demanded their identification (to check them against a terrorist watch list), demanded multiple times that they stop filming, and eventually 'banned' Miller and Ledford from the metro system 'for life' (though it's doubtful they had the authority to do so)."

cancel ×

601 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Hmmm... (5, Insightful)

warGod3 (198094) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798548)

So a private security firm AND the police have the right to try and sentence people without so much as a trial? NICE! I bet Miami-Dade PD is going to have to throw up some decent PR on this one... Oh wait, it's in the name of anti-terrorism and public safety...

Re:Hmmm... (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798634)

Unfortunately, the only way to really fix this is to go ahead and get arrested. That's what it's going to take to turn this crap around; a lot of journalists getting arrested and writing passionate articles about the experience while hopefully being exonerated.

Re:Hmmm... (3, Interesting)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798692)

I'm a little surprised he didn't. I'm not an American, but if the cops arrest you with no reason don't you then turn around and sue them for false arrest? A few expensive lawsuits would probably convince whoever is in charge to train their police officers a little better.

Re:Hmmm... (3, Interesting)

blackchiney (556583) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798748)

They would try and get you with resisting arrest. So the entire pretense for arresting you is resisting arrest. Doesn't matter what the resistance is; vocal, thought, physical.

There are other crazy laws on the books like this, like being drunk...in public.

Re:Hmmm... (4, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798784)

They would try and get you with resisting arrest. So the entire pretense for arresting you is resisting arrest. Doesn't matter what the resistance is; vocal, thought, physical..

Just ask politely if you're under arrest. If not, carry right on doing whatever it is you were doing. .

There are other crazy laws on the books like this, like being drunk...in public.

Um, yes, but there's written laws for that. So far there's no law against photography and a cop really ought to know that.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32798866)

Resisting arrest is often a BS pretense for arresting you, but how often do those charges actually follow through?

Re:Hmmm... (2, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798926)

This is starting to sound eerily reminiscent of Heinlein's assertion that "in the end, all forms of death can be attributed to heart failure." Well, that, and The Great Escape's "shot while escaping".

Re:Hmmm... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798914)

I'm a little surprised he didn't. I'm not an American, but if the cops arrest you with no reason don't you then turn around and sue them for false arrest? A few expensive lawsuits would probably convince whoever is in charge to train their police officers a little better.

When the judge is the guy that spends his Friday evening having beers with the dad of the cop who arrested you? Nah. Maybe things are different in the good ol' US of A but where I come from, cops look after their own. :/

No (1)

dammy (131759) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798996)

First of all, there was never an arrest by law enforcement. Second where the two photographers screwed up is they never had written permission to photograph/videotape the facility. They had a hard copy of a email which is worthless. Had they had a real letter which was signed by the security chief, they could have presented it to the security captain and said if he had questions, refer him to the chief.

Let's be clear about security, they are a joke. Security management is even a bigger joke, which is what a security Capt is, a joke and a half with no real knowledge of anything beyond whatever is written in their policy manual. They are not law enforcement, they do not have the extensive training nor selection process to weed out the not too swift. Metro-Dade, IIRC, is an accredited agency which means 90%+ have to have at least a two year degree besides passing the law enforcement academy(1,600+ hours) and FDLE standards.

The two should have pulled away from the situation and attempted it on another day when the Chief of Security (which I bet is a government employee and not some security hack) was available to confirm everything. But that wouldn't make any headlines like on /., now would it?

Re:Hmmm... (5, Insightful)

openfrog (897716) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798710)

Spot on! This is exactly the way to deal with this. Test it, get arrested, document the whole process and manage to be professional enough about it so you arise the interest of main media journalists, PBS, BBC, etc. Expose, just like they do here, underlying causes, like top security acknowledging of the rights, and private security and local police involved in arbitrary and erratic behavior.

The result: big public embarrassment for those involved, instigating fear of the same for like-minded small-time tyrants doing this everywhere.

This is a job of public education and the two photographers involved here are doing the right, appropriate and efficient thing about it. My hat to them!

Re:Hmmm... (0, Flamebait)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798854)

Unfortunately, the only way to really fix this is to go ahead and get arrested.

Nothing will turn this around. This is the fruit of the "for the children" insanity combined with the "Terry-wrists! Terry-wrists!" insanity. All getting arrested will do is (a) cost you a shitload of money and time which you will not get back in full, and (b) eventually get you lynched by the surrounding crowd if you give the "authorities" trouble. After which, they'll all go have a beer and laugh at the beating you took.

Can't be fixed. They've found a perfect combination of imaginary threats to keep the population in line. You stick your head up, they'll bring out the mallet and smash it right back down where they think it's supposed to be.

Re:Hmmm... (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798916)

Nothing will turn this around.

Two points. First, I do not recognize that you are correct. Second, by assuming that nothing can turn this around, you have guaranteed that you will not work to turn this around, consciously or subconsciously. You have fallen into a trap of your own devising. I, however, do not believe it to be inescapable.

All getting arrested will do is (a) cost you a shitload of money and time which you will not get back in full, and (b) eventually get you lynched by the surrounding crowd if you give the "authorities" trouble.

Lots of people have lots of time right now. It doesn't have to cost you any money. What we need is legions of out-of-work photographers (they have the time) getting arrested for photographing anything and everything. I'm sure more than a few professional photographers have recently gone all-but-homeless. It's not like they're going to go to PMITA prison for taking a photograph of a subway.

Can't be fixed. They've found a perfect combination of imaginary threats to keep the population in line. You stick your head up, they'll bring out the mallet and smash it right back down where they think it's supposed to be.

You're a negative nancy. More to the point, you're not helping. Well, you are helping, you are helping the powers that be keep the population down by contributing to feelings of powerlessness. Or in short, you are doing evil.

Why don't you find a way to make a positive contribution, or failing that, shut the fuck up? You're only doing harm by repeating their lines for them. Do you get paid for this work you do for the power elite who have the most to gain from the maintenance of the status quo, or is this just some sort of mental disorder that you have chosen to delight us with because you skipped your medication?

I want everyone in America to carry a camera, and to use it. Thankfully, camera phones have made the first part true enough for most purposes. The problem is the second. Don't discourage patriotism. The only way to create the world that you want to live in is to be willing to die for it. You might or might not actually arrive in the world you want to live in, but doing nothing is a sure way to keep you where you are.

Don't buy into your own oppression.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32798872)

Unfortunately, the only way to really fix this is to go ahead and get arrested. That's what it's going to take to turn this crap around; a lot of journalists getting arrested and writing passionate articles about the experience while hopefully being exonerated.

Dude, this is the USA!

You need to sue for ONE MILLION DOLLARS, if not more. Sue the city, the transit authority, and the individual thugs themselves.

That will get their attention, especially with all the financial problems governments are having.

It's only after shelling out millions in damages that the government and their petty thugs will make changes.

Re:Hmmm... (3, Interesting)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798642)

Yeah, you just can't let any terrorist photograph public places... Before you know it he might even snap a picture with YOUR KID! Won't somebody please think of the children!!!

Everyone knows that real (non-mobile phone) camera's are only used by terrorists and pedophiles, duhhh.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798698)

I thought that only the sick people could have the desire to picture your kid.......not the terrorists....., funny, even the dictionary confirms my opinion.

Re:Hmmm... (1, Troll)

briareus (195464) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798964)

What's that whooshing sound?

Re:Hmmm... (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798760)

So a private security firm AND the police have the right to try and sentence people without so much as a trial? NICE!

Of course they don't. The security firm and the police lied.

Re:Hmmm... (3, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798900)

So a private security firm AND the police have the right to try and sentence people without so much as a trial? NICE! I bet Miami-Dade PD is going to have to throw up some decent PR on this one... Oh wait, it's in the name of anti-terrorism and public safety...

No, the police have the power to arrest someone without so much as a trial. It's the DA's job to tell the police "FTW!? Let them go! They didn't do anything illegal. Get a lawyer, they're going to sue you for false arrest."

Re:Hmmm... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798902)

So a private security firm AND the police have the right to try and sentence people without so much as a trial? NICE!

I bet Miami-Dade PD is going to have to throw up some decent PR on this one...

Of course they do! I've seen CSI: Miami!

Re:Hmmm... (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798968)

Welcome to the land of the free.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

stickystyle (799509) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798978)

I bet Miami-Dade PD is going to have to throw up some decent PR on this one.

Doubtful it would even make it to the general public. Seeing how this place is an absolute cesspool of crime that fills the news and the fact that the MD-PD isn't much better than the "criminals", an incident like this wont even make it to the ticker going along the bottom of the 11'oclock news.

It's the sun (1)

christoofar (451967) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798550)

It bakes law enforcement brains in Florida.

I'd like to see this same experiment done on Philadelphia's extensive transit system (SEPTA). Considering that it's pretty easy for the homeless to urinate just about everyone in the system and go unpunished for it... I bet photography is also on the list of least concerns.

Re:It's the sun (5, Funny)

Nick Fel (1320709) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798564)

Can't be the sun - we have this problem in England.

Re:It's the sun (4, Insightful)

Nuskrad (740518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798614)

I think The Sun [thesun.co.uk] is definitely part of the problem in England.

Re:It's the sun (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798662)

But in your case photographers are breaking copyright. The government has already photographed everything [wikipedia.org] . (winks as good as a nod...)

Re:It's the sun (3, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798742)

Can't be the sun - we have this problem in England.

I don't think we have it to this extent. The summary says they were stopped in the first station -- I've tried taking photographs in stations in London, hoping to get stopped so I can bitch about it on Slashdot, but am so far unsuccessful.

(It's not surprising though -- buses, trains and the Underground are well-known "tourist attractions", so every tourist photographs them, and it's very, very rare for an idiot security person to try and intervene.)

Re:It's the sun (1)

Zelos (1050172) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798830)

It's relatively common in the UK. This story [bjp-online.com] is the most recent one I remember - young photo journalist prevented from taking photos of army cadets in public by a policeman who says something like "I don't need a law to be able to stop you". I've seen plenty of other similar stories.

Re:It's the sun (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798936)

Sure you're not talking about the Daily Fail [dailymail.co.uk] ?

Re:It's the sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32798670)

Farkers will say it's just Florida.

Re:It's the sun (3, Interesting)

matria (157464) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798690)

I don't know if this is the same outfit responsible for the Metrorail security as it was when I was working on the UM medical campus and lived in Hialeah. Most evenings when I got to the Hialeah stations the guard was in his car sleeping. I was mugged once, and on the second attempt successfully defended myself, all with no sign of the sleeping beauty in the car parked in front of the turnstiles. On one occasion, at the Martin Luther King station, in broad daylight, I was shoved aside and the young man "of color" went through the turnstile on my card. He went over to the young woman guard who was standing watching the whole incident, they did a "high five", and he went on up the stairs, while she tried to accuse me of lying about having a ticket. Actually I had a monthly pass, which very fortunately her friend hadn't noticed. Then she told me I couldn't let someone else go through on my pass! I had to threaten to call the police myself before she let me through.

Re:It's the sun (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32798884)

I was shoved aside and the young man "of color" went through the turnstile on my card.

Looks like the bigot got what he deserved.

Re:It's the sun (2, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 4 years ago | (#32799024)

Oh sure, trying to pay for your train journeys in a law-abiding manner is awfully bigoted.

His choice of adjectives (and quite frankly, what adjective isn't open to deliberate misinterpretation here?) had nothing to do with the causation of the incident, which was that someone wanted a free ride, and apparently did so with the tacit approval of the guard.

The fact that you are assigning bigotry to this poster despite the fact that his choice of adjective could be construed to be in order to cause the least offence reveals far more reflexive prejudice on your part than on his.

Re:It's the sun (2, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798694)

But public urination is merely a nuisance. A photographer could be taking photos which might fall into the hands of terrorists. TEEEERRRRROOOORRRRRIIIISSSSSTTTTTSSSSSS!

As sad as it may be, the above is how some people really think. Anyone taking photos is potentially gathering information for bad guys. And since they might possibly be gathering information for bad guys, they need to be stopped. Information isn't free, it's dangerous and anyone collecting it (even if otherwise publicly available) is a threat to be locked up.

Also, don't pay attention to the fact that these people were likely using big DSLRs when any terrorist would likely use easier to hide point and shoots or even a camera phone. Bigger camera = more information = bigger threat, apparently.

Re:It's the sun (1)

wisdom_brewing (557753) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798994)

BEWARE!!!

Terrorists are feeding tramps a chemical mixture making their urine highly explosive and on a timed fuse!!!

All the urine caked in the corners of stations is timed to go off simultaneously at midnight on 09/10/2010!!!

Look at it like an airport... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32798560)

OF course gotta look at it the same way airports do I guess. It's public transportation. Do you want terrorists plotting against our metrorail or airplanes?

Re:Look at it like an airport... (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798580)

Photography of sites is surprisingly unhelpful to terrorists. The reality is that there's usually a copy of plans for the building on the web somewhere, the photography being banned is more a matter of trying not to freak out the people that work in the building. Given the changes to technology over the years, it's pretty much inevitable that the people that are caught aren't doing anything. Since cameras are commonly small enough to not be spotted with any effort at all to conceal them.

Re:Look at it like an airport... (5, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798738)

Which makes it even more odd that the people who are detained always seem to be using DSLR cameras. If you use a cheap point and shoot camera, you're likely to be left alone but break out the DSLR with a big lens and you'll get security guards demanding that you delete the photos or face Homeland Security. Meanwhile any terrorist who actually wanted to use photos to plan his attack would likely use a cell phone camera or easily-hidden point and shoot camera. Or maybe he'll just have a notebook and pencil and sketch the train station while appearing to be taking notes. Yikes! We'd better ban paper & writing implements in public areas! Quick, before the terrorists use them to destroy us all!!!!!

Re:Look at it like an airport... (2, Funny)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798984)

Well, Mr Clever Man, DSLRs can have big lenses on them. How can you tell whether or not its got an RPG hidden inside it without stopping them and searching their cavities? ANSWER ME THAT!

Re:Look at it like an airport... (4, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798836)

I am fairly convinced that a lot of it comes from two things:

1. Deciding that a place needs more security, and hiring human security guards to provide it.
2. Choosing strategically-shaven chimps as your security guards who feel the need to assert what little authority they're given. (This is more-or-less an inevitable consequence of the fact that most security work is badly paid and intensely boring - it's not the kind of thing that will attract the sharpest tools in the box).

Authority recognises authority, and seldom undermines it. So when the chim^H^H^H^H security guards call for police backup, it's fairly common for the police to back up what they say even if it's patent nonsense. In essence, the law is decided on the fly by the security guard and by the time someone in a higher office has seen sense, it's already been splashed all over the media.

Re:Look at it like an airport... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32798924)

Honestly... if I were staking out a metro station I would wear a decent suit with a high-res hidden camera in my tie clasp, and just wander around the metro system taking footage.

I think that, or the taking notes/sketching situation, is far more likely than some guys with giant DSLR's being terrorists.

Re:Look at it like an airport... (4, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798618)

Exactly, a train can be far more massive than any airplane!

Imagine what would happen if terrorists took control of a train and flew it into a building!

It would be 911 times a hundred.

Afterall, if the pen is mightier than the sword and a picture is worth a thousand words, then a camera is a veritable weapon of mass destruction compared to a measly box cutter.

Re:Look at it like an airport... (4, Insightful)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798702)

Imagine what would happen if terrorists took control of a train and flew it into a building!

To be fair, look at Spain. A lot of people died on the trains [wikipedia.org] . However it doesn't mean that I think law and security forces are not draconian and in short, fucking morons, for stopping these guys from photographing. They are helping the terrorists to win when they violate our freedoms.

Re:Look at it like an airport... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32798730)

Jesus !! .. 911 TIMES A HUNDRED !! .. thats like .. 91100 !!!

Re:Look at it like an airport... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32798956)

Jesus !! .. 911 TIMES A HUNDRED !! .. thats like .. 91100 !!!

And that's somewhere near Beverly Hills, which means we'd lose a lot of REALLY IMPORTANT people!!!

Re:Look at it like an airport... (3, Funny)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798786)

Yeah, it's worse than the old days when they'd hijack a train and take it to Cuba.

Really??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32799014)

do you mean Cuba, MO?

Re:Look at it like an airport... (1)

Jager Dave (1238106) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798938)

....and again... the Metro in Miami doesn't GO anywhere even remotely interesting... IF someone were to blow it up (no, I'm not suggesting someone does, relax DHS), it wouldn't do much harm....

Weren't they on the list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32798606)

I thought all journalist were on the terrorist watch list? After 9/11 it at least seemed they adopted the novel 1984 as their handbook. 1984 didn't specifically call journalist terrorist but they would have been viewed in that world very much as Tuttle in Brazil.

The free world isn't so free anymore... (5, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798624)

The free world isn't so free anymore... ... Because we've all been stupid enough to demand 100% safety and security from our nations (I'm European myself). Problem however is that terrorists are the perfect guerilla fighters. They are just a member of the general public, until they strike. So, the only way to work on this increased safety and security is to treat the entire population of the world as a suspect.

I'm not surprised that the world is turning out the way it is... And, there is no way that we can blame anyone but ourselves for it.

Hardly ever have I encountered anyone arguing that we could do with less security. Nobody says that it's not worth the money... But, actually, we can... Which is why I think we've all been stupid. On the other hand, demanding for less security practically brands you as a terrorist, so asking for it is not exactly smart either :-)

Re:The free world isn't so free anymore... (4, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798680)

It's definitely not worth the money. For one thing, 9/11 changed the rules of plane hijackings: no longer can you expect that the terrorists will just land and ransom you if you just keep your head down. It was over on the same freakin' day, before the fourth plane ever reached its target.

It's always about costs vs. benefits [townhall.com] , and it's about time we did some economic analysis of our security measures on top of the general effectiveness analysis we're also not doing enough of. Especially since all wars are economic: it doesn't matter what resource you cause your enemy to drain; if you can do it disproportionately, you can eventually win.

Re:The free world isn't so free anymore... (5, Insightful)

trout007 (975317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798734)

I've been arguing for years that we can do with less security. Go back to 9/11 and what was the real cause that they were able to pull off the attack? It was the FAA position that we should cooperate with hijackers. Once the people on the 4th plane learned what was going to happen they tried to take the plane back. I'm sure the whole time on those planes the fight attendants were telling everyone to stay seated and be calm and it would be over soon like they were trained to do. So to prevent this in the future you don't need the TSA and flight marshal's and no fly lists. All you needed was a change in attitude that passengers no longer will comply with hijackers. Done. Just let the regular airport security do their job of keeping guns off the plane.Reinforcing the cockpit door wasn't a bad move either. But besides that nothing more needed to be done. Notice all of the near misses prevented by passengers since then. What is great too is that passengers are allowed to profile. While the TSA is frisking Mexican Abuelas every passenger is keeping their eye on Ahkmed. Now Ahkmed may be a fine upstanding man but passengers will watch him the whole flight and if he does something out of the ordinary will do something about it for self preservation.

Re:The free world isn't so free anymore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32798762)

Wow, can you even spell Ahmed?

Re:The free world isn't so free anymore... (4, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798832)

The free world isn't so free anymore... ...

The irony of this is that this occurs in a country that professes itself to be the "land of the free and the home of the brave", and its citizens seems to get a little angry when people suggest that it isn't in either case

What terrorists are those...? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798838)

Do you really think there's terrorists everywhere constantly planning attacks?

I'm pretty sure there aren't.

Re:What terrorists are those...? (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 4 years ago | (#32799016)

I think there are terrorists everywhere constantly planning attacks the same way there are people everyone planning on what they will do when they win the lotto. Luckily for us both groups are mostly idiots. Like that "bomb" in Times Square. That was the biggest joke. What did he have some propane tanks and gas cans? Was he trying to make bomb with what he found at Home Depot?

Re:The free world isn't so free anymore... (1)

Bangalorean (1846492) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798966)

I was "caught" taking photos in the Delhi metro with my mobile camera once, and the security guys almost confiscated my phone. I pretended to delete all the photos I had taken and they were satisfied and let me go... Today, the situation worldwide is such that, if you so much as dare suggest that the security thing is a little overblown and some of the rules are ridiculous, you'll have a pile of right-wing nutters on your backs within seconds! That's how it's going to be for the forseeable future and we must just get used to it...

Someone is about to get their ass sued off. (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798636)

Stop! Lawsuit time!

(U Can Film This!)

Re:Someone is about to get their ass sued off. (2, Funny)

Wovel (964431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798948)

I always suspected you were here Hammer.

Poor confused journalists (5, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798654)

Don't they understand that just because there's no law against it doesn't mean that you're allowed to do it? That's exactly the kind of mistake that The Terrorists might make if they came to the Land of the Free and thought that you were allowed to actually exercise said Freedoms. See? That's why their behavior was suspicious.

Re:Poor confused journalists (1)

N!k0N (883435) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798740)

Don't they understand that just because there's no law against it doesn't mean that you're allowed to do it?

Technically as long as they were on public land, they're allowed to do whatever they please -- same as you or me (assuming you're in the states; within the limits of the law, ofc.. though as with everything YMMV).

Now, since they were apparently AT the station (ie non-public land) the rent-a-cops (and the police, by extension) weren't doing anything 'wrong' with asking them to leave/not take pictures. This might even go so far as to allow the arrest the journalists (ie, throw them in the back of a squad car, maybe take them to the police station) until personal information can be verified (note that this would not allow for prison, etc... just short jail time at the worst; up this way the maximum they can hold you is something like 24 hours).

Re:Poor confused journalists (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798846)

Technically as long as they were on public land, they're allowed to do whatever they please

No, they're not. Again with the confusion between what's legal, and what you are actually, physically allowed to do by people in costumes who think it's their job to stop you.

What kind of American thinks that they can have both Freedom and Security? Just who are you working for "N1K0N", if that is your real name, and I think we both know it isn't... Abdullah> .

Yes, yes, I know you're just tailing on my comment to make your tangential point about the distinction between public and private land, but if you bother to read the article (I know, Slashdot)...

"[n]othing in this section shall require any permit from: (i) Individuals filming or video taping only for their own personal or family use; (ii) Employees of print or electronic news media when filming on-going news events. This exception shall not apply to simulations or re-enactments orchestrated by print or electronic news media; or (iii) Students and faculty filming exclusively for educational purposes."

Still, at least spouting off while being ignorant of the facts is pretty Patriotic. There may be hope for you yet.

Re:Poor confused journalists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32798860)

I think the metro station *is* public land (supported by taxes, owned by the city/county, whatever). Which was exactly the issue here... Though, it's a good point. I mean, is it really sane to believe that they would let you e.g. walk into city hall (public land?) up the stairs, into the mayor's office? Surely there's security checkpoints along the way, and they wouldn't let you through because you don't have ID. But, maybe there's a law specifically handling those locations, and public transport isn't one of those places...? Dunno

R

Stopping pictures is only half the battle (4, Funny)

sizzzzlerz (714878) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798658)

The train gestapo must prevent passengers from writing down the names of the stops as well. If the terrorists ever get hold of such a list, they've won.

Memorize. (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798720)

Or order them from memorizing everything.

I used to ride the local train all the time to commute to work and I had the stops, the police beat and minor details of the route memorized. And I have a crappy memory. Someone with a great memory and a memory enhancing techniques could easily rival a photo - photos don't capture 3 dimensions very well.

Re:Stopping pictures is only half the battle (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32799038)

And to prevent people from memorizing the stops, the line must follow a randomized route that changes every week!

Well.... (2, Interesting)

Jager Dave (1238106) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798660)

Living in Miami, the Metro-Fail (er, Rail), is pretty much worthless anyway. It doesn't go to the airport, or, for the matter, anywhere else useful. It's long been said, the Metro-Rail was built so the people in the Kendall area (southern point) could go up to north Miami (northern point) to buy drugs - and for the most part, I still agree (though, personally, don't do drugs). Regardless, look up WHERE the Metro in Miami goes. It's one of the worst designed rail systems in the WORLD (well, ok, L.A.'s isn't much better - another failure that somehow doesn't go to the airport).

Re:Well.... (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798858)

According to Wikipedia, the extension to the airport is opening in 2012.

How do tourists get around? You have a lot, e.g. from cruise ships. Must they hire cars and use taxis?

Re:Well.... (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798982)

Apparently. unless they want to buy drugs.

This isn't over (5, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798672)

This is far from over.

I'm glad to see that part of the article. They even presented to the security guards the very letter that granted the photographers permission, and they were still stopped. The next step is to follow-up on that letter and ask why their guards aren't following their own policies. This was a great experiment: there was no fighting, no harassing the security guards, etc. I really look forward to seeing the result. There is a part of me that hopes hundreds of photographers start going there to try and take photographs.

Re:This isn't over (2, Interesting)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32799020)

Camera flashmob - now that would be something to see.

Why not? Everyone has camera/phones now.

Unfair (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798688)

Criticizing those witless morons isn't very nice.
They aren't even here to defend their enforcement of obnoxious and/or imaginary laws!

Re:Unfair (5, Insightful)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798816)

Ah, complex laws. They have real and imaginary parts.

Working definition of a police state (4, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798708)

When officers can enforce their will, irrespective of it's legality. Extra points are given for not punishing said officers after the fact and even more for banning or "disappearing" any reporting of the offence either outright or under the veil of "security interests"..

So far most democracies are somewhere between steps #1 and #2 most of the time. although they make more and more frequent excursions past step #2 and are always trying for their ultimate step #3 (it makes their lives so much easier).

We would have to know the other side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32798714)

Obviously they were trying to provoke a response, which if someone is acting suspicious and literally trying to get negative response from security and police they will get one

Re:We would have to know the other side (2, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798864)

Obviously they were trying to provoke a response, which if someone is acting suspicious and literally trying to get negative response from security and police they will get one

The other side of the story (if you RTFA) is that the protagonists interviewed the head of security of the Metrorail system who assured them that what they wanted to do was allowed and legal. So are you suggesting that "legal" activities are now suspicious and that everyone should just do as they are told? No wonder you are AC.

And if we stop no one.... we blame them.... (0)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798718)

Funny how, when we don't stop anyone, and someone flies in to the side of a building, we instantly ask "why didn't security notice and stop that dodgy looking guy?!

Re:And if we stop no one.... we blame them.... (2, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798754)

Funny how, when we don't stop anyone, and someone flies in to the side of a building, we instantly ask "why didn't security notice and stop that dodgy looking guy?!

All he had was a camera. WTF can someone do with a camera?

It was a camera? (3, Funny)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798898)

Oh, sorry, it looked like an RPG to me...

Re:And if we stop no one.... we blame them.... (3, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798944)

All he had was a camera. WTF can someone do with a camera?

"The pen is mightier than the sword"
"A picture is worth a thousand words"

It's clear that a person with a camera is the equivalent of a thousand people with swords. We all know what happened when a legion of Rome came to town.

Re:And if we stop no one.... we blame them.... (0, Offtopic)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798992)

Imagine a photo of Rosie O'Donnell on a nude beach and you'll know what damage a camera can do.

Seems to me photographers expose terrorists.... (4, Insightful)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798726)

Isn't that how it worked in this case? They revealed a camera, and all of the sudden they were terrorized by ignorant, arrogant, bullies pretending to "serve and protect" the public welfare of our citizens. I think its quite clear these cops are acting just like domestic terrorists - and paid for with our tax dollars! Who is in charge of our country anyway? Citizens or government bankrolled thugs without a clue?

Re:Seems to me photographers expose terrorists.... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32799028)

Citizens or government bankrolled thugs without a clue?

Is that rethorical ?

Airports (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32798728)

Shouldn't cameras be confiscated right at the airports, for safe measure? All in the name of security?

Re:Airports (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32798804)

Shouldn't all cameras be confiscated for safe measure? All in the name of security?

FTFY

HAND

Is such a ban stupid or what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32798744)

I had a similar problem at a European airport: it's not allowed to take pictures near the check-in counter of flights to the U.S.

What irritates me is, that I believe such a ban is useless and in no way improves public safety. Without massive security personnel (which they don't have) there is no way to stop someone with bad intentions to take all the pictures or even video that he wants. e.g. with a hidden camera. So why bother to forbid a harmless tourist to take a picture of his loved ones, only because he openly shows his camera?

Is this stupid or am I missing something? And if it is, I hope - in my own interest as a traveler - that other security measures were chosen more wisely.

Re:Is such a ban stupid or what? (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32799022)

I have been through emigration and immigration checkpoints all over the world and they nearly universally ban cameras, audio recording, and mobile phones. If this was an airline check in counter and not a government checkpoint, I do not understand the ban.

If it was an airline counter, it is a local law or airline policy and not the result of any US law or requirement.

Good Job (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798750)

These are the kind of tough measures needed to defend our freedom and our way of life from the Italian menace. Let the hippie idealists whine and kvetch, I'd like them try photographing in Rome! This is a war and in a war, sometimes you have to give up some freedoms to defend our freedom, our nation, our hot dogs and our GOD against Italian blasphemy.

What is so strange about this? (3, Insightful)

((hristopher _-*-_-* (956823) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798812)

Wake up lemmings.

It's normal that government has a public friendly official policy line, yet in reality has a completely different mentality.

I'm impressed with the response time. And I hope you Brits never have to go through the experience of terrorism again in your lifetime.

Is the metrorail public property? (2, Informative)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798820)

Here in the Netherlands, public transport isn't public at all. Trains, busses, subways etc. are run by private companies. Its up to them to decide what they allow on their terrain and I know for a fact that making photographes isn't something they allow. Not because of terrorist threats by the way, but to protect the privacy of travellers using their service.

Re:Is the metrorail public property? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798940)

Here in the Netherlands, public transport isn't public at all. Trains, busses, subways etc. are run by private companies. Its up to them to decide what they allow on their terrain .

In TFA it states that the protagonists interviewed the head of security who assured them that their actions were both legal and allowed - although the story is just another in the line of actions that are legal and not allowed.

Re:Is the metrorail public property? (1)

Jager Dave (1238106) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798974)

Here in the states, it's actually publicly/government owned and operated, but they contract a private security company to sleep in their cars at each station (er, sorry, I mean, to make sure nobody jumps over the turnstiles).... But the SERVICE itself, is government owned...

Re:Is the metrorail public property? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798998)

I had the same thought until I read this in the summary: "Before embarking on their test, they obtained written assurance from Metro Safety and Security Chief Eric Muntan that there's no law against non-commercial photography on the system."

Re:Is the metrorail public property? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32799034)

oh really? so I bet they will be prosecuting google and all those other large corporations also huh?

(click on the streetview)
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=norway+train&sll=59.220934,11.821289&sspn=12.612003,39.375&ie=UTF8&hq=norway+train&hnear=&ll=60.392148,11.821289&spn=0,39.375&z=5&layer=c&cbll=59.909967,10.751752&panoid=2cvkjMeSdGc_pcVZLSRe4g&cbp=12,105.81,,0,16.38

Why would a terrorist bother taking photos if he can just use the streetview on http://maps.google.com/ ?

Re:Is the metrorail public property? (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32799040)

I am all for privacy. I also agree private companies should be allowed to make the rules for what happens on their land.

People in public places do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy however. If their image is not being used for some commercial purpose, they should get over it.

I wish (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798844)

I wish I had half the balls those guys do!

The terrorists won. (5, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32798880)

This is just another example of how the western world has shown just how effective terrorism is. Especially if your goal is to make your enemy into a police state and loose every human right they once had.

Free travel, the right to privacy, free speech, innocent until proven guilty all of them are on the way out. It wont happen over night but we are going there much faster than i thought people would allow.

This was the very goal of the 9/11 attacks and we have taken the bait, hook, line and sinker.

Biggest winner are China and other suppressing states that nowadays seem pretty innocent. Its very hard for other countries to demonize them when they in many regards are just as bad, compared to China they are just a lighter shade of gray.

In essense its like a criminal complaining when someone steals something from them.

I'm banned from the Apple Store (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32799004)

I figure after the half dozen of so laptops, desktops and phones I've purchased over the years entitles me to a free iPad. Well, the Apple store manager didn't see it the same way and decided to ban me from the store. I figure I paid a few months rent, what's wrong with maybe an iPad going out the door. He didn't see it the same way either. Figures, you bunch of Apple snobs.

Well ... (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 4 years ago | (#32799010)

If they play it right a bunch of out-of-control rent-a-cops will soon have a new career, flipping burgers.

Re:Well ... (1)

Jager Dave (1238106) | more than 4 years ago | (#32799044)

Actually the last bunch of rent-a-cops Miami-Dade hired (Wackinoff...er...hutt...whatever) - just got fired for overcharging the county 100's of thousands of dollars a year. County/government screws us, private industry screws them right back. Nobody can win.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?